tv [untitled] January 12, 2011 4:00am-4:30am PST
agency. the relocation appeals board is currently handling appeals from the transbay terminal from the central subway. we will soon hear appeals from treasure island. the appeals mandated by state and federal law, and it is very important that we have a quorum to hear these appeals, which are coming at us very quickly. i had the opportunity to work with mr. kim, and he brings great expertise to this field. his background in public service and finance and real estate is outstanding, so i urge you to consider the appointments. >> -- supervisor campos: how many members of the board are there? and how many vacancies are we talking about? what would be needed to get a quorum? >> there are five members that are required. current time, we have two that
have been approved by this committee. two before you know, and one that as a holdover, so we do have a quorum, i believe. >> you would have -- supervisor campos: you would have a quorum of three? >> we do need three, but we do need insurance if a member cannot attend and is not able to hear the appeal. we are required to hear an appeal within 60 days. supervisor campos: to the extent that commissioner kim is currently on that board, would he not be held over? >> i believe so, supervisor. am i think the city attorney is confirming that there is no action, that commissioner kim would be held over. ok, great. thank you very much. next speaker please. seeing none, public comment is closed. supervisor mar: i would like to
move that we continue item 9 to the call of the chair, and i look forward to supporting commissioners cohn kim cohn -- and kim. supervisor campos: thank you. if we could take that without objection. please call item 10. >> item 10, resolution confirming the appointment of florence kong to the city hall preservation advisory commission, a term ending january 13, 2012. supervisor mar: this is for the city of preservation advisory commission. >> good afternoon. my name is lawrence k -- florence kong. it is my honor to be nominated as a commissioner of city hall preservation advisory commission. i'm proud to have city hall, a
national landmark, and serve on our city government. as i walk through our city hall, i know the importance of welcoming. our city hall should be an example to make all people feel welcome, not only for the taurus, but also of people who may use our facility. i have been a licensed contractor and general contractor that has successfully completed conservation work and numerous projects. i'm also the ceo of the bay area metro chinese radio. i hope to bring with me some understanding of the importance of preservation. i will further promote the image of city hall to the people overseas in my program. san francisco has a rich history of diverse people with different cultures.
the preservation and understanding of our city hall has historical significance and cultural value. i will bring civic pride to our future generations. as a member of the city hall preservation advisory commission, i hope to help maintain our city hall's reputation as a friendly place for all people and for many generations to come. thank you. supervisor alioto-pier: thank you. supervisor mar: -- i not want to ask a question. i just want to thank you for your leadership of the asian american contractors association. i have personally seen the great work that you did at the eureka valley recreation center, lovingly restoring a property that is very valuable in the community, and i know you have been very much part of ensuring
that local businesses, local individuals can participate in the work of the city, and i think you would do a stellar job, so i'm very grateful you are here before us. >> thank you very much, a supervisor dufty. supervisor mar: i just wanted to add, thanks for the work of the immigrant rights commission. you would bring a breath of knowledge to the commission. thank you, ms. kong. supervisor alioto-pier: thank you. is there any public comment on this item? >> maybe i have to lean forward. first of all, i want to thank the supervisors for the ability to address you here this afternoon and anyone else that may be here in this room. my name is richard armstrong. i have been a representative for nearly 20 years. i now represent the largest this
division company in the west, and as such, i have done business with the ironworks owned by florence kong for many years. we have done many contracts, and she is one of the large steel fabricator companies in the west and certainly the largest in san francisco. this has been a pleasant business relationship, and she has always made sure they kept their account current, which is hard for any customer during these times, whether large or small. i appreciate her business ethics. i have not always won the order, but we have been given the opportunity at each order, and again, something that is not always found in today's business environment and is refreshing. she has been a person of her word, whether discussing potential orders or payment terms.
she has always kept her word, and now, she is nominated for the preservation of city hall commission. a position that would cause the placement of contracts for maintenance and repairs, certainly, and she has a great deal of history with contractor agreements. your mission statement calls for statute, dignity, and the high standards, and i say to you this afternoon that florence kong fulfills all these expectations of great stature, dignity, and the highest standards of business, and i look forward to seeing her confirmed of this appointment by you guys, hopefully, today. supervisor campos: thank you very much. next speaker please. >> good afternoon. we have spent the morning
together. share of the san francisco city hall preservation advisory commission. i am here to encourage you to approve of the appointment of florence kong. we have been without our fit seat filled for an extended time, and she would be a great asset -- without our fifth seat filled. in the year 2013, we will be celebrating our 100th anniversary, and we have major plants, and we need someone with her expertise and structural formation of this incredible building. there are some things that need to be done, and our commission is going to go forward in supporting them, and i'm sure that florence will be an
incredible addition to our commission, so i'm asking for your support. supervisor campos: bank you very much. next speaker please. -- thank you very much. next speaker please. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i'm here to support florence kong's appointment to the city hall preservation advisory commission. as the previous speakers mentioned, she is a very successful businesswoman who is very active and supportive in the community. she believes in giving back to the community and to the city. she grew her company from a few employees to over 100, and she believes in hiring local residents in san francisco. her expertise on the construction field would make
her an excellent and outstanding commissioner, so, please, aboard her or confirm. thank you. -- please appoint her or confirm. thank you. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i wanted to st. -- speak in strong support of florence kong and her apartment. i worked a lot with her this summer and got to know her. i was with her in a series a stakeholder discussions around local hiring and how to get to a consensus, and i found her way of dealing with different community stakeholder groups, business, labor, community, city, to be incredible, and i think she is -- i'm just so happy to be here to support her. something people do not know is she runs a radio show and brings
in a community members. city hall is the people's call. this is someone who should be in charge of preserving and advising on the preservation of it. the other thing that someone had mentioned -- i read had mentioned that ms., is a contractor. she does 90% local hire, so i expect to see that when work is done on the people's call that we are going to see our people, our communities, union work force, community work force rebuilding the city's tall, and i think that is something that florence kong can really make sure happens. supervisor campos: thank you. any other member of the public who would like to speak? seeing none, supervisor mar. supervisor mar: thank you. i look forward to supporting your in the future, but i'm going to continue this item. but i really strongly support your candidacy. supervisor campos: i, too, look
forward to supporting you in the future, so we have a motion to continue. supervisor alioto-pier: i would just like you to know that we were voting today, i would vote for you. i will not be on the rules committee next time, but i wish you luck, and i am here to support you. supervisor campos: we have a motion to continue to the call of the chair. can we take that without objection? thank you very much. madam clerk, please call item 11. >> item 11, resolution confirming the appointment leona bridges to the municipal transportation agency board of directors, a term ending march 1, 2014. supervisor campos: thank you very much. if we may now ask ms. leona bridges to come forward. this is an appointment made by the mayor to the municipal transportation agency board of directors. before i turn it over to the nominee, i would like to thank ms. bridges for taking the time to sit down with me and to speak with me over the phone and for
making herself available throughout this process to answer any questions we have. i just wanted to thank you and say that this appreciated. welcome to the rules committee. and if you could speak into the microphone please. >> thank you very much. good afternoon. thank you, supervisors. thank you for arranging a special hearing of the rules committee today. my name is leona bridges, and it is an honor and privilege to have been nominated to serve on the board of directors for the sap system municipal transportation agency. as a former managing director at barclays global investors, i come with over 25 years of investment experience. i will bring financial expertise to the mta. bgi, now blackrock, is the largest asset manager in the
world. my responsibility was over about $800 billion in assets. during my tenure, i was responsible for budgets, investment strategy, client reporting, audits, client service, and financial capabilities of the largest firms in the world with global fiduciary responsibilities for all of those funds. some might say, more importantly, i'm a lifelong muni rider, a lifelong user of public transportation in san francisco. growing up in san francisco, i walked to middle school, wrote three buses to abraham lincoln high school, and rode three buses to sanford stake -- san francisco state university. i have continued to be a lifelong user of muni transportation. additionally, i take taxis and what many places. i have a vested interest in this city. i have a vested interest in
knowing that we have timely, accessible, reliable, affordable, and save modes of transportation and services in the city. i offer the rules committee six policy areas of priority i can elaborate on a few wish. the first is accessibility. transit should be accessible in all neighborhoods and people and provide -- provided on a timely basis. affordability -- all modes of transportation and parking garages must be affordable, and not disproportionately impact low income communities. we must serve our communities in this city. reliability -- we must maintain and enhance our current levels of service. safety -- we must provide safe environments for pedestrians, bikes, buses, taxis, and traffic garages. jobs -- we must maximize local hiring with community contracts. it is important that we used
muni contract as we look at the central subway and utilize and maximize mta to implement the local hiring policy that was just passed by the board of supervisors, and we must do it quickly. lastly, finance. we must maintain the critical lots on how mta spends its funds and address the priority areas that i have outlined above. i may have a learning curve when it comes to mta, but i bring my finance knowledge and my experience as a lifelong muni and public transit rider. the current board has experts in the areas of transportation, accessibility, labor negotiation, and parking and traffic. it is a good mix of knowledge, and everyone is very strong. i would bring it out and round out with a finance background, and this is why the mayor has asked me to serve. that said, i feel very strongly
that the job of every member of the board is to listen to what the public has to say and make the best decisions for the city. i'm an independent thinker, as a member of the board, you can count on me to listen to all and respect all stakeholders with an open mind. again, i would like to thank you in the advance for your consideration of this nomination of the mayor. thank you. supervisor campos: thank you. we have a question from supervisor alioto-pier. supervisor alioto-pier: thank you. i wanted to start off by simply saying that i am 100% behind you, and i support your nomination completely. i'm thrilled that the mayor made it. just two comments, really, more than anything. you talked a lot about accessibility, which is something i like to hear about. public transportation is not always accessible to people with disabilities. what most people do not know is
that almost 95% of our paratransit is operated through yellow cab and luxor cab. it is almost as if there is this area that has been privatized almost. buses are difficult for people with disabilities, particularly people who use wheelchair's. the part of our system that runs along the embarcadero, the beautiful old historic trains or cars, are virtually inaccessible. there are parts of our system not have been cut off to the disabled community, so i just want to bring that to your attention. it is something that i have spoken to mr. ford about. he has always been very receptive, but we do need a few more movements in that direction and in that area. most people with disabilities have a hard time finding employment because they simply cannot get to work. transportation is considered the
single most important issue to the disabled community. i just want to bring that up. the second thing is that through the passage of prop a few years ago, as members of the board of supervisors, we used to take care of the concerns of our streets and neighborhoods. if we had a constituent who wanted a stop sign, we did try to get one. if we needed a pothole filled, it would be easy for us to do it. with the passage of prop. a, those responsibilities were taken from the board of supervisors and given to the mta. my other request is to make sure you listen to the community because sometimes, it can be a source of frustration when we know that there are potholes that are not getting fixed and neighbors who continually complained to us, thinking that we have the power to do that, when, unfortunately, we do not any more. i just want to bring that to your attention. because it is a powerful place, and it does have a lot of
neighborhood concerns, and i think that the neighbors themselves and people within the community would probably reach out and touch a little more often, but those are really more comments. if you have any comments of your own on what i've said, i would love to hear it. otherwise, i believe supervisor dufty would like to say a few words. but i wish you luck. supervisor dufty: i'm thrilled to be here, and i would like nothing but it then to be able to vote on your nomination. i wanted to make a couple of points. in the eight years i've served on the board, i do not think i've ever seen the turnout we had today from leading members of the african-american community in san francisco to support the nomination. i think that speaks volumes about you, and i also think it speaks about the importance of having black community representation on the board, and
i think now is a vital time. just as we spoke about the importance of commissioner designate courtney being on the puc, i think this is an extremely important time because there has been much difference between the board of supervisors and the mta and the mayor about the direction of muni. i think this is the time for accountability. this is a time for healing and reaching out to the operators that we rely upon, many of whom have some very rough feelings about what happened in the most recent election, and i think you are uniquely qualified to step forward and bring people together and really make our promise of a world-class transportation system a reality. so many people have spoken about your work at san francisco state university. you have been modest in that regard, but you were viewed as a legacy graduate, someone who recognizes the importance of this institution to our city. you have done so much to enable students of all backgrounds to
go and have opportunity, and i think that is really a testament to your personal qualities, and i hope that the strength of the testimony that is presented today can make as compelling case as we have for another nominee that came before this committee. because i do think it is extremely important to have you on the mta board. >> thank you, supervisor. i appreciate that. supervisor mar: thank you. to fill the shoes of the rev. james mcrae, they are big shoes to fill, but your decades of experience in the financial community would be sorely needed within the mta board, but i wanted to ask. i know what of the challenges has been the final results, and the recent cutbacks have been a challenge, but what ideas did you have for ensuring there is adequate funding stream so we could have an equitable and affordable transportation system? >> one of the things we looked at and talk about is we have
funding coming in from the state and federal levels. i was also looking at maybe possibly issuing bonds as one thing that is coming up as well. to issue bonds is very complex, but if we do that, we have to get it right. looking at the streams of revenue we have, making sure that what we're doing, allocating it appropriately -- i mean, there are areas in parking as well as in traffic where we have allocations that we could probably streamline. as well as, you know, with the last election, the way we voted was looking at the negotiations coming up, what we are going to extract from those negotiations. supervisor mar: my colleagues and i also on the county transportation authority, and we recently went through a thorny negotiations on a congested management study. do you have thoughts on how to keep relations with our brothers and sisters to the south of us but also still paying attention to the air pollution in our
city? do you have any thoughts? >> i saw some of the information, but i have not had the privilege to see all of its and all the research done in to that, but i think it is interesting. i saw where the table to a further date and not making any move on it as a board, so i look forward to doing more research on it and then make comments afterwards. supervisor campos: thank you. i just wanted to ask you a couple of questions. as you know and every member of the public knows, the mta, muni, is one of those agencies that we in city hall and throughout the city really care about and think about and talk about, and a lot has been said. i think it is important for us to have as strong a board of directors of that agency as possible.
with respect to the fiscal and financial expertise that you bring, i think that is something that is badly needed and one of the things that we saw last year was an audit of some of the work that was done by the board of directors, and i was really shocked to see that in a two- year period, even though muni accounted for half the cities over time, not once did the board of directors during that time even discuss the issue of overtime in its agenda, in its meeting, so it does make you wonder the kind of oversight that is being provided. one of the unfortunate things, that i saw, last year was this ballot measure that in my view it unfairly targeted drivers. there are many issues that are the reasons why muni is the way that it is, but i do not think
it is fair to target one group of people and put the entire blame on workers, which is what i believe happened. did you have a position on that ballot measure? i wonder if you have any thoughts about that. >> i believe you are referring to the ballot measure where our drivers are paid the second- highest in the country by charter, and that was removed by the last election and last ballot. it is one of those things in labor, unfortunately, that i think we have to look at holistic play in terms of how we evaluate labor negotiations. i know transportation is one of the highly paid industries in this country. for that long time we have had that charter. i think we have to work with the union to come up with a workable solution we are not under paying our drivers. it is a stressful job. it is very stressful on a day- to-day basis, and they have to endure a lot spirits as saying that -- and i think that is where you go in here -- at the same time, i think we can
evaluate it from a financial standpoint to make sure we are not underpaying based on the financial benchmark of the rest of the country. i think we need to figure out a system to make it equitable for the rest of the country. >> i appreciate that response. were you for it or against it or no position? >> no position on it. supervisor campos: one of the things that we were really concerned about as the board last year was some of the cuts that were made. you had the board of supervisors not only in its capacity as the board of supervisors, but also as the transportation authority trying to do everything we could to minimize the level of cuts. one of the things that we repeatedly heard from, certainly my district, was the lack of input from the public about how those cuts were made.
i'm especially concerned about the way in which decisions are made that impact communities that may not necessarily be as well-off as others and who rely on public transportation as a means of putting food on the table. i'm wondering if you can talk a little bit about how you would approach that in your job in terms of making sure that there is sufficient community input as those decisions are made. >> in my last comment, made a comment that i would be open to all stakeholders, and i think it is important because our decisions are made on the input we received from the citizens of this city. that is who we serve. i listened to all, and an open to hear from all stakeholders. i'm very concerned that we do not disadvantage neighborhoods, particularly underserved neighborhoods where we have a lot of seniors and minorities.
for a long time, and i will cite an example -- for a long time, going to the bayview district, we had one bus service. that is not good. again, and underserved community. for me, it would be very important to listen to the constituents of those communities to make sure they are not disproportionately impacted. supervisor campos: we have the example of my neighborhood, which is the 67 line, the only one that goes through the alamein the housing development, and they cut that line in have so if you are a resident now, you have to transfer buses to be able to get to a safe way. so where is the equity in that? those are the kinds of things that we are looking at. one of the things that i noted before about this appointment is the frustration that i had in the fact that this vacancy was open for a while and the appointment was not made until december 1.